By Christopher Gillett
Americans in several states can go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 7 to vote on a variety of elections including federal and local offices as well as state-wide referendums.
Ohioans will vote on two state-wide referendums — Issue 1 and Issue 2 — along with several local elections. Both issues need approval from 50% of voting Ohioans to pass.
If passed, Issue 1 would enshrine access to reproductive medical care, such as abortion and contraceptives, by making it a part of the Ohio state constitution.
Issue 2 would legalize marijuana for recreational use for those 21 and over, alongside its growth, possession, sale, regulation and taxation. Issue 2 is not a constitutional amendment, but would instead revise the Ohio Revised Code.
Summaries and arguments in favor or against both issues can be found in the issues report released by the secretary of state.
More information about local elections and referendums that affect Mahoning County can be found on the Mahoning County Board of Elections website.
To find out where you can vote, visit the Ohio secretary of state’s website. After clicking on the appropriate county, type out the registered street address.
Pennsylvanians are also voting on a new justice for the state’s supreme court after Judge Max Baer died. Those registered in Pennsylvania can find their polling place on the state’s secretary of state website.
Youngstown State University students registered at a university dorm or apartment address can find polls at either First Presbyterian Church on Wick Avenue or the Eugenia Atkinson Recreation Center on Otis Avenue.
The League of Women Voters of Greater Youngstown is a nonpartisan organization, which is bringing out registered voters. Penny Wells, who works with the LWV of Greater Youngstown, said voting is important because of the people who have sacrificed for it.
“I was brought up [to believe] that voting was important and — in the words of Vernon Dahmer, from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, who was killed because he was willing to pay the poll tax and encourage people to register to vote, ‘If you don’t vote, you don’t count,’” Wells said.
Wells also said people who do not vote should not express their opinions afterwards.
“My feeling is if you don’t get out and vote in any election we have — federal, state or local — you really don’t have the right to express your opinion,” Wells said.
Wells also founded the Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past, which has taken a position in favor of Issue 1.